That's the canon by Pachelbel. Part of its charm comes from the calm assurance of the repeated bass combined with a varied top line. It's a little like "Love's Fire" a collection of seven new plays that each offer variety played over the ground of a Shakepeare sonnet. "Love's Fire" is at the John Waldron Arts Center in a production with a company of nine directed by Craig Owens.
Eric Bogosian's "Bitter Sauce" brought Katherine Callison who's solution to matrimonial jitters is to balance her gentle fiancee, Jeremy Fisher, with a rough biker played by David Rich.
"Painting You" composed by William Finn was a solo cantata of a painter musing on the struggle to capture his beloved captivatingly sung by Martin Wilson.
Marsha Norman's contribution was named "140" after her sonnet. In the snap of a finger and the command "undo it." Strange and quite unexpected things happened to the pairings of five characters.
"Terminating..." was Tony Kushner's offering for "Love's Fire." In a therapy session, Mike Price played a perfectly postmodern patient to perfection. Throughout Price was distracted by his bawdy partner Jeremy Fisher. At the same time the resistant therapist, Angela Dill, was being distracted by her partner Breshaun-Birene Joyner.
Wendy Wasserstein's "Waiting for Philip Glass" involved most of the cast in a sort of Philip Glass like pattern of repeated elements that gradually shifted. The main element of variety was the different names that this group of upper crust East Hamptonites could throw at one another.
The evening's final entry was John Guare's "The General of Hot Desire." It was a sort of college study session on sonnets 153 and 154 with everyone throwing variant readings and footnotes as they grappled with the reading. Thing got a bit lively when the story of Adam and Eve and a substantial chunk of biblical history got mixed in with Edoardo Lebano as a very sleepy god.
"Love's Fire: Seven New Plays Inspired by Shakespeare's Sonnets" is an often amusing and sometimes insightful opportunity to sample the wares of seven highly regarded contemporary playwrights. It plays this Friday and Saturday at eight and Sunday at three in the Rose Firebay of the Waldron Arts Center.